Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP leader, who was labelled “the most dangerous woman in Britain” during the general election, has topped the BBC’s Woman’s Hour power list of female influencers. Sturgeon wielded a huge amount of influence in negotiations surrounding the future of the British and the European Unions, said the judges. “How she chooses to wield that influence over the public and her fellow political leaders could have potentially huge ramifications for this country,” said the chair of the judging panel, Emma Barnett. “She is the woman of the moment in terms of influence and hard power.” Speaking from Edinburgh on a live broadcast of the show, Nicola Sturgeon said the “dangerous woman” remark was “the nicest thing the Daily Mail have ever said about me”. She added: “I’m not sure what the points of reference were but I don’t think it’s particularly dangerous to want to live in a world that’s fairer. To spend money on health and education rather than weapons, I don’t feel that’s dangerous.”
Sturgeon was followed by Anna Wintour, the British editor-in-chief of American Vogue, in second place and the actor and humanitarian campaigner Angelina Jolie in third. Jolie had not been chosen for her acting roles, said the judges, but “for the ‘Angelina effect’ – the impact that her decision to go public with her health choices had on women around the world – as well as her humanitarian work”.
Katharine Viner, the first female editor of the Guardian in its 194-year history, shot into the 2015 top 10 at number four and, despite being at the start of her tenure, was recognised as “one of the most influential women in the English speaking world”. Camilla Cavendish (pictured above), director of the No 10 Policy Unit, was considered the fifth most influential woman in the top 10 because her ideas and opinions would “influence not just the Prime Minister, but all government departments and, by extension, everyone in the UK”. In a recording played of a debate between the judging panel - comprised of journalist Emma Barnett, human rights lawyer Helena Kennedy QC, Radio 1 presenter Gemma Cairney, Daily Mail columnist Sarah Vine and Jane Shepherdson, chief executive at Whistles – Vine could be heard claiming Cavendish “is effectively the Prime Minister”. When Murray suggested that comment could get her in trouble – Vine is married to Justice Secretary Michael Gove – the journalist replied: “Not for the first time.” The panel said they had looked for women who had made an “exceptionally large impact on our lives, not just because of their job title but because of their personal ability to influence others”.
Caitlyn Jenner, who recently went public with her transition to being a woman with a glamorous Vanity Fair photo shoot, was included in the list at No 7. Vine said Jenner – previously known as the male Olympic decathlon gold medallist Bruce Jenner – had been marked out by her “courage in coming forward as a transgender person in such a public way”. Vine added: “I understand why someone like Jenner might make people feel uncomfortable; but she is a human being like the rest of us and should not be denied the same rights – or indeed respect – as those who live more conventional lives.” The Queen topped the Woman’s Hour Top 100 list in 2013, while the campaigner Doreen Lawrence headed its “game changers” list in 2014.
Of course there were a number of "Game-Changers" who attended our regular Club Night at the Oxshott Bridge Club - even on the hottest day ever in the South of England - but somehow this year they did not feature in the BBC Woman's Hour Power List??!! There were some technical difficulties which delayed the publication of the Leaderboard and the Travellers, but thanks to the good work of our Official Scorer, Jonathan Spring, these have been resolved and a final Scoring has been published in the Results Section. You can read all about the evening's play in the Report by clicking on the "Competitions" tab in the Menu to the left of this box. Alternatively you can study the full Leaderboard and the individual Travellers by clicking on the "Latest Result" button at the top right of this page.